NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A classic holiday tale gets a Cirque du Soleil spin for an incredible reimagining.

CBS2’s John Elliott introduces us to some of the performers and takes us backstage at “Twas the Night Before… ”

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The iconic 200-year-old poem gets an exhilarating new spin – lots of them in fact – as acrobats and dancers and aerialists transform into elves and reindeer, and Santa of course, as they help the young Isabella rediscover the wonder of Christmas.

John Hadley is the director who makes the magic happen.

“I think what people don’t realize is how much time the artists spend at their craft. I mean, most of them have been doing it since they were, since they were children,” Hadley said.

These performers are as athletic as they are artistic. No detail in their act is too small.

Danila Bim is an aerialist who spends hours just on her makeup. It takes two hours before Bim is ready to hang by her hair in a breathtaking performance.

Bim said she puts 20 to 30 knots in her hair that allows for this “hair-raising” suspension.

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Backstage, we got to see just a fraction of the magic that goes into this show. There are 25 performers, 50 different costumes, 2,000 sequins and only four people to get it all done.

This is a well-oiled company. There are pre-show stretches, so on-stage stunts come off without a hitch, as hoop diver Evan Tomlinson Weintraub, who plays reindeer Prancer, said.

Elliott asked, “When you jump through the hoops, do you have to worry about your antlers?”

“All the time. So, it’s an extra, I don’t know, maybe a foot off of our head and so, we’re thinking, not only do I have to do the techniques to go through the hoops and not hit it, we also have to make sure that we’re not touching it with our reindeer horns,” said Weintraub.

Those hoops reach up to 10 feet in the air.

Everyone we spoke with said to combine their love of performance with their athleticism is really a dream come true.

“To be able to marry the two as a circus artist is exactly what I wanted to do with the rest of my life,” Weintraub said.

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“Twas the Night Before… ” is at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden through Dec. 27.

John Elliott